5 Best Liu Sha Bao aka Golden Custard Buns in Singapore. Let’s Ooze!


[Will be updating this list. Let me know if any new and good ones have popped up.] Talk about dim sum in Singapore, the Liu Sha Bao or Golden Lava Custard Buns are one of the top orders. Considered a new dim sum item first made popular in Hong Kong, the uniqueness is in its creamy runny egg custard filling made with salted egg yolk and butter.

Perhaps it is our obsession with flowing food items. What makes a Liu Sha Bao tick?

To me, it’s the soft outer bun layer, steamy oozing golden lava when bitten into, the after taste of the salted egg yolk, and that special X-factor. Some buns just have that extra oomph. (Read: 5 Oozing Food That Singaporeans Love)

When I did an informal poll via facebook and instagram, the usual Chinese restaurant names were contributed: Crystal Jade, Canton Paradise, East Ocean, Man Fu Yuan, Imperial Treasure, The Cathay Restaurant (now closed permanently), and Victor’s Kitchen – the humble shop at Sunshine Plaza (now also at Chinatown Point) most known for this particular dim sum.

I ventured far to try more than 10 different restaurants, and became excitedly surprised by some of the lesser-known names. These are what I consider the 5 Best Liu Sha Bao in Singapore.

Mouth Restaurant
68 Orchard Road Plaza Singapura 238839 (Dhoby Gaut MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm (Mon-Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat-Sun)
Reserve Now

Mouth Restaurant may not be the number one dim sum restaurant to many, and its branch at Plaza Singapura can be so quiet that it feels cold an un=atmospheric just dining there. Maybe I am bias.

But Mouth Restaurant’s custard bun ($5.60 for 3) is one of the few presented with baked crust, with skin slightly crumply yet still soft. (Think Tim Ho Wan Singapore buns with custard fillings)

The inside is not the usual milky creamy, but buttery where the salted egg yolk texture is distinctly grainy. The flow is thick and slow, like bright yellow lava of the volcano flowing down that may set your heart racing with anticipation.

Taste Paradise 味之楼
ION Orchard #04-07 (Orchard MRT) Tel: +65 6509 9660
Opening Hours: 11:30-3:00pm, 6:00-11:00pm (Mon-Fri), 11:00-11:00pm (Sat-Sun)

Canton Paradise and Paradise Pavilion serve Liu Sha Bao of the same recipe, but it is Taste Paradise’s version ($5.50 for 3) that is a slight cut above the rest.

The reason? Paradise’s Group best dim sum shifu are found at Ion’s Taste Paradise, hand-making these custard buns fresh, steaming them for an exact 5 minutes. The texture is creamy smooth and colour vibrant yellow.

The best word used to describe these treasures? Delicate.

Bosses Restaurant 黑社会
#02-156/157 Vivocity, 1 Harbourfront Walk (Harbourfront MRT), Tel: +65 6376940
Opening Hours: 11:00am-9:30pm Daily

Bosses only serve 2 dim sum items during dinner time – the Liu Sha Bao and Xiao Long Bao. Both are exceptional, I mean, when you compare to their other dishes.

The restaurant with its modern black walls is relatively quieter than all the other restaurants at Vivocity which see queues during the weekends. The Signature Custard Lava Bun ($4.20) is worth my trip here, arriving steaming hot, and the orangey yellow skin remains supple fluffy even after a while.

The filling flows, flows and flow – very generous, and somewhat more to the watery side.

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck
#05-42/45 Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd. Singapore 238859 (Orchard MRT), Tel: +65 6732 7838
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am-2:45pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-2:45pm (Sat), 10:30am-2:45pm (Sun); Dinner 6-10:30pm Daily

Imperial Treasure’s group of restaurants always have a certain quality to their dim sum, and do you know the restaurant at Paragon branch is the one which is ranked Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant? (Only Chinese restaurant from Singapore on that list too.)

The buns are almost perfectly shaped, with the taste striking an appropriate balance between sweet and sugar. Unlike some other buns which can get too oily or rich, you would find it easy to pop more than one.

Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
187/188/191 Jalan Besar Singapore 20882 Tel: +65 6225 7788
Opening Hours: 6pm-6am (Wed-Mon), Closed Tues

This is a choice between Swee Choon’s and Victor’s Kitchen. (I wanted a range from restaurants to more casual eateries.)

I finally picked Swee Choon (although I know many will differ in opinion) because Swee Choon ($3 for 3) has a better consistency and a more pleasant eating environment (even though both fall under the same type.)

Swee Choon’s interpretation is slightly sweeter, while Victor’s has the stronger salted egg yolk savour. While some of Swee Choon’s dim sum are not as consistent as we have liked (there was one particular time it didn’t really flow), its Golden Lava buns have always been outstanding for a shop with modest beginnings, with one of my friends exclaiming it is “life-changing”.

Royal China Restaurant
03-09 Raffles Hotel Arcade, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road Singapore 189673 Tel: +65 6338 3363
Opening Hours: 12:00-3:00pm, 6-10:30pm (Mon-Sat), 11:00am-2:00pm, 600-10:30pm

Almost made it to the 5. Contrary to what many may think, Royal China is not as steep in price even though it is in Raffles Hotel. Royal China’s version has the addition of mango juice to the custard, thus the slightly sweeter finish. Though the bun did not ooze enough to draw the oooohs and ahhhhs, unfortunately.

Tell me which is your personal favourite Liu Sha Bao in Singapore and why?

Other 5 Best Entries
5 Oozing Food That Singaporeans Love
5 Must Try Curry Puffs In Singapore
15 Cooling Desserts In Singapore
10 Nutella Desserts You Find In Singapore
20 Sexy Black Food In Singapore

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44 Responses to “5 Best Liu Sha Bao aka Golden Custard Buns in Singapore. Let’s Ooze!”

  1. Tan Yi Ying
    November 7, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    My personal favorite is LIU SHA BAO FROM….. TASTE PARADISE!!!

    • admin
      November 7, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Yeah, the Paradise Group generally makes good custard buns

  2. Terence
    November 7, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    I love the LIU SHA BAO from Old HongKong! Super goood.. Super oooozy!

    • admin
      November 7, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      Yes Old HK generally has good and exquisite dim sum.

  3. Perly Koh Soh
    November 7, 2013 at 5:27 am #

    Susie Yiahsoh…. go get your fix.

  4. Jesslyn
    November 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    I find the liushabao from east ocean at taka is one of the best in singapore!

  5. Winnie Chong
    November 7, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    I have only tried Swee Choong's one in the above of your list.. But Peony Jade's custard bun at Keppel Cub is very good, served during their dim dum time, the bun skin is fluffy, and served very hot, the custard cream is soft and leaking out when u peel into half.. the salted yolk added a tinge of saltiness to the taste too!

  6. Winnie Chong
    November 7, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    I have only tried Swee Choong's one in the above of your list.. But Peony Jade's custard bun at Keppel Cub is very good, served during their dim dum time, the bun skin is fluffy, and served very hot, the custard cream is soft and leaking out when u peel into half.. the salted yolk added a tinge of saltiness to the taste too!

  7. November 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    I'm craving for 流沙包now……..

  8. Daerious Ooi
    November 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Let's go eat 😀

  9. November 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Majestic Restaurant located inside Majestic hotel is also serving very solid liu sha bao…

  10. Andrea Tan Lee
    November 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    victor's kitchen!

  11. Alexis Cheong
    November 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    the LSB at Cathay restaurant is not bad too! – alexischeong.com

  12. Chen Zijun
    November 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    Peach Garden serves pretty good ones too

  13. November 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    You missed out Peony Jade. Die Die Must Try

  14. Rozita
    November 8, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Sorry Daniel, I have always thought custard bun=奶皇包,shouldn’t liusha bao be salted egg bun? Or are they the same? Cos I’ve tried these two different bao in Hong Kong, and they are very different.

    • admin
      November 8, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Good question. Yes, Nai Huang Bao generally doesn’t contain salted egg yolk and is milkier and creamier, wheareas Liu Sha Bao has a combination of two. In Hong Kong, some restaurants would call Liu Sha Bao “Nai Huang Liu Sha Bao” to differentiate that it flows and has salted egg yolk.

  15. November 8, 2013 at 3:29 am #

    swee choon? you're kidding me. 3 times I've tried and it's solidified custard instead.

  16. November 8, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    I am 3 times lucky then. All 3 baskets of buns flowed. But I can imagine that it is a place where the custard can be solidfied. Hard to QC there.

  17. November 8, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    You seem to have missed Imperial Treasure in Crown Plaza, Changi Airport T3. Once you have tried the Liu Sha Bao there, the rest pales in comparison. I introduced my friends and business partners from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and this has been rated even better than those countries'. Try it one day and you may be surprise.

  18. Zhe Heng
    November 8, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Bao today's n Victor kitchen liu sha Bao is good also..

  19. November 8, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    red star restaurant is good

  20. November 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Nan Bei at Takashimaya Lvl5 is one of the best as well:)

  21. November 8, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    try custard buns from holiday inn atrium xin cuisine

  22. YF
    November 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    You should try Liu Sha Bao @ victor’s kitchen.. You won’t be disappointed ..

  23. November 10, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    I feel like going for a liu sha bao hunt now~

  24. Rachael Tan Rurui
    November 18, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Peach Garden in Thomson plaza

  25. Rachael Tan Rurui
    November 18, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Peach Garden in Thomson plaza

  26. Jasmin Teo
    November 19, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    Cmon how come no one mentioned Peach Gardens?! I love ghe custard buns from there ):

  27. Pao
    November 20, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Xin Cuisine at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium! :)

  28. Jing Seow
    November 24, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    Lol…. Yea. Swee choon doesn't really have good ones. I regret everytime I order it..

  29. Benjamin Goh
    December 4, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    Gotto remove Swee Choon bro. Your "Best" list will not the best?

    • admin
      December 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      Taste is always subjective anyway. Feel free to suggest other dim sum places. Cheers. :)

  30. December 4, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Try the one at Simpang bedok Hong Kong Tea house. Tat area is a famous supper places for easterner. Thou their dim sum is Halal, they hav the best Liu SHA Bao. My favorite so far & nev fail to satisfy those that I bring to try as well.

  31. January 4, 2014 at 4:31 am #

    Try Kungfu paradise, its better than the ones swee choon are serving now

  32. Pauline Woo
    February 26, 2014 at 2:38 am #

    I'm so glad Mouth Restaurant's Liu Sha Bao finally made it to the best list! I've been hooked since my first bite.

  33. Joel Leow
    May 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    Yi Dian Xin located at upper serangoon rd .

    The liu sha bao is cheap and good !!

    Must try!

  34. Weilin Song
    May 8, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    Ju chun yuan and kungfu paradise…swee choon? u mus b joking!!!

  35. May 30, 2014 at 12:53 am #

    How is Victor's Kitchen not in the list?!!

  36. December 24, 2014 at 6:12 am #

    Yes victor's Kitchen! Not only the lui sa bao, their dim sum is good too

  37. Lyn
    January 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    The one at Park Palace in Grand Park City Hall Hotel is really good, a personal favourite of mine. Definitely a hidden gem.


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